Over on The Awl, a riff on the cultural history of the pumpkin by Johannah King-Slutzky has been making the viral rounds. What starts out as a lighthearted assessment of the 10-year anniversary of Starbucks’ popular Pumpkin Spice Latte quickly becomes a sociocultural romp through Instagram, gender politics, food academia (“I spoke with Dr. Cindy Ott, author of Pumpkin: The Curious History of An American Icon”), silly art comparisons, and musings as to whether pumpkin is wholesome, decadent, or neither.
Meanwhile, on PolicyMic, Marissa Piccolo has her own take on the history of the pumpkin spice latte, also known as the PSL, or, sarcastically, “the opiate of the masses.” Her post includes the hilarious trailer for "Pumpkin Spice," a nonexistent horror movie about a pumpkin-spice takeover of America, à la "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." It also has Starbucks lore:
For example, while developers were working on the flavor they decorated their Research & Development lab with Thanksgiving decorations, wore sweaters, and brought in homemade pies for lunch breaks. Even though it was only spring, they wanted to incorporate the autumn mood as they worked to create the all-encompassing taste of fall. . . . The majority of their final product was cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. There is no trace of pumpkin in the recipe at all, further proving how putting “pumpkin” in the name just leads us to associate it with fall.
Finally, inevitably, there’s a recipe for making your own pumpkin-spice latte. Hit those espresso machines already.
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